Cyprus to polish CIP applicants, amid Due Diligence accusations
Intense criticism of the Cyprus Investment Scheme and enhanced pressure from the European Commission forced the Cypriot government to screen the criteria of the programme. As of lately the Ministry of Interior demanded only a clean criminal record from CIP applicants, with no official questions asked about the source of the funds, however banks did carry their independent due diligence on their potential clients. It is not surprising that accusations and discussions about money launderers being offered passports have surfaced repeatedly over the past months.
Since the introduction of the Cyprus investment Programme in 2008, over 3.500 applications have been approved contributing significantly to the country’s economy as well the development of thousands of jobs across many sectors. The aforementioned accusations, jeopardise the country’s credibility and the Ministry of Interior has called to action to batter the negative word being spread across mediums.
Three independent firms have been handed the responsibility to screen every CIP applicant by carrying out due diligence checks. Additionally, an internal audit will be carried utilising those firms’ expertise, to polish every applicant that has been approved through the Cyprus Investment Programme since its inception. The plan is to use international cooperation to apply enhanced due diligence methods and identify any naturalised persons or family members who are subjects to European Restrictions/Sanctions or individuals that face charges in other countries of residency.
Going forward, the Cypriot Ministry of Interior stressed that naturalised applicant(s) found guilty of wrongdoing, will be stripped of their Citizenship with immediate effect and Politically Exposed persons or individuals under International sections will no longer be eligible to apply.
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